So I finally have the Stanley no.3, no.5, and a no.8 and am excited to use them. I have been tuning them up but now I am stuck. I just started sharpening and I feel like a radius blade is way out of my league. Can I just sharpen them and go for it or will I be miserable? And this leads me to my 2nd question. I have an 8ft 4x6, should I cut it in half,plane it smooth, and glue it together (4ft 4x12) or leave it long as my bench top for my sawhorses? I appreciate the wooddorking advice.
Putting a radius on a blade is pretty easy. For your smoother (No. 3) and jointer (No. 8), you just need a little relief at the corners. You can do this with finger pressure on the corners of your plane blade on a 1000 grit waterstone. Christopher Schwarz has a good write up on this process here.
For your jack plane, a curve that matches a circle with a radius of about 10” is good. To set up your plane blade that way, take a scrap piece of cardboard and draw a circle with a 10” radius on it, cut it out (you’ll only need part of the circle), and use it as a template to draw that curve on the back of your plane blade. Then use a grinder to establish a bevel along that curve. This does not have to be a precision job. Again, Christopher Schwarz has a terrific write up on this process here.
Longer benches are always better. I’d leave your 4x6 at 8 feet long. If you need a wider work surface, start gluing up other 8 foot boards onto the side of it.
That’s my objective, and that’s my happiness — to find this relationship with the tree.
I’ve said this before, but it’s fun to see your name in print at the bookstore.
At the risk of seeming self-serving, if you don’t have a copy of this issue, you really should get one. Besides excellent material from the usual Popular Woodworking Magazine contributors, there are articles by Marc Spagnuolo, Autumn Doucet, Don Williams, Jim Ipekjian, and Bob Rozaieski that are just outstanding.
Gyokucho 372 rip dozuki, working its way through the same piece of red oak that made its appearance earlier.
Japanese saw geek content: this saw is not a true rip dozuki. The Gyokucho 372 has teeth that looks like crosscut teeth, but with interspersing teeth that act like raker teeth, much like how a combination saw blade for a table saw that has flat top teeth and alternating top bevel teeth works. This saw certainly makes rip cuts faster than the Gyokucho 370, which is a true crosscut saw.
(For Taylor Donsker.)
This has been mentioned on the Popular Woodworking Twitter feed, but since it’s now on their website, it must be official.
I have the great good luck to be one of the speakers at this year’s Woodworking in America, which will be held September 12-14, in Winston-Salem, NC. I’ll be covering Japanese tools and how to use them in your shop, even if you never have used a tool that goes backwards.
I’m especially excited to see the other speakers: Roy Underhill, Matt Cianci, Phil Lowe, Drew Langser, and Frank Klausz have been announced so far. In fact, I’m flabbergasted that I’m in their company. This is going to be a great event, for sure.
I'm interested in giving Japanese saws a try. I know next to nothing about them. What saws (type and quantity) should I consider purchasing for typical hand tool situations such as ripping, crosscutting, and joinery work? Thanks!
If you’re starting out, I like the combination of a 210 mm ryoba, which will cover most furniture scale joinery tasks (dovetails, tenons), and a 270mm saw for making bigger cuts. I wrote a post a while ago explaining why here.
More skinny on sawplates
Mark Harrell, on the Bad Axe Tool Works Facebook page:
Seriously thinking about discontinuing the .015-plate gauge option for our dovetail saws. It’s just too thin to be practical. Though it excels at cutting stock between 1/4 and 2/4, once you venture into 3/4” territory, there’s just not enough of a heat sink there to deal with the commensurate friction in the cut: with friction comes heat, and with heat comes an expansion of metal and warping of the toothline. The .018-gauge plate is far superior while still yielding a whisper-thin kerf. Now there’s a lot of spilled ink on the advantages of a .015-gauge plate, but I have yet to see them, unless you keep your cutting requirement at 2/4 or below.
I have never had to deal with this as an issue. My feeling is that if there’s enough heat from friction when making a saw cut to cause the saw to bind, you’re doing something wrong. In the case of a thin plate western saw, a much more likely scenario is that the plate is bending because the thin plate can’t support itself during the push stroke, even with the support of the back in the case of a dovetail saw.
For a point of reference, I have two 240 mm ryobas, one handmade, and one machine made, and both have a 0.018” plate. My 240 mm rip and crosscut machine made dozukis have a 0.013” plate. My handmade 210 mm ryoba has a 0.015” plate. None of them bind in the manner that’s being described for thin plate western saws.
By the way, that’s a dozuki with a 0.013” plate working its way through a crosscut in a piece of red oak 7/4” thick in the picture above. I experienced exactly zero binding when making this cut.
(Thanks to Ben Lowery for the link.)
giant Cypress turned 4 today!
They grow up so fast, don’t they?